As the clock hit 0:00, many would have expected Lions fans to sulk after the loss to New Orleans. However, it seems that the general mood is that of acceptance and happiness that the season brought a 10-6 record with a playoff appearance that was twelve years overdue. Lions fans have a lot to be satisfied about and a lot to look forward to.
Here is a list of why Lions fans should say: “Hey, we got ourselves a team now.”
What We Have Going For Us
- Matthew Stafford joined the short list of quarterbacks that have thrown for over 5,000 yards in a season.
- Matthew Stafford actually completed a season, after starting in only thirteen games over his first two seasons.
- Calvin Johnson played out of his mind over the course of the season, proving that not even double and triple bracket coverage can stop him from winning a jump ball battle.
- Nate Burleson looks like that perfect number two receiving complement to Megatron.
- Titus Young finally grew into the slot-receiver-role that he was drafted to be, and will only continue to improve.
- Brandon Pettigrew turned into one of the best and most reliable tight ends in the league.
- Jason Hanson is still kicking.
- The offensive line seemed to get better without any notable additions.
- Kevin Smith can still kind-of run the ball.
- Jim Schwartz will be the coach for a long time, turning an embarrassing Lions squad into one that looks like an annual playoff contender.
Here is a list of why Lions fans say: “Maybe we have some things to work on for the years to come.”
What We Need To Work On
- Our secondary has some major flaws which must be fixed through free agency or the draft (preferably the latter).
- Although our offensive line looked better than in previous years, it must be strengthened with some new talent and youth.
- The running game was nonexistent, and we need to figure out if Jahvid Best will be able to remain healthy and effective. Also, we haven’t even seen Mikel Leshoure play in a regular season game yet. Kevin Smith looked like a viable replacement, but this must be figured out for next year.
- There were games in which the Lions lacked discipline and the penalty yards racked up like a high scoring basketball game. The infamous “Suh Stomp” also didn’t help the Lions’ label as a dirty team.
Overall, this was a season to remember for Lions fans. We are one of four teams to have never been to a Super Bowl. We endured the first 0-16 season in the history of the National Football League. But hey, we made it back to the playoffs this season. Who knows where we can go from here?
Click here to see a recap of the playoff game against the Saints.
By: Brandon Klein
(Photo courtesy of Charlie Wollborg under a Creative Commons license)